Lahoris can’t thank their stars enough… the Magnum Pleasure Store is here, and at the right time when the city is sizzling in summer heat. It’s also the right start of Ramzan, when all you can think of is a quick rush to the store to have your share of the frozen delight.
Around two years ago, Karachi got its first pop-up store, and the hype began, but the word really got around when known designers showcased their collections inspired by the luscious tones of Belgian chocolate.
Last week a glamorous, fun-filled, jam-packed launch of Magnum Pleasure Store took place at the most happening spot of the city — Y Block DHA. The space has been designed with the Magnum Dipping counter in the centre with the seating area around it. It even has a fully functional mezzanine floor and basement to cater to the crowd. The vibe is casual, ideal for the setting, for customers to enjoy their ice cream in fuss-free surroundings. A giant Magnum wall pulls the crowd interested in taking pictures for keepsake, while the Minaar-e-Pakistan installation made out of ice cream sticks signals the arrival of the store in Lahore.
In a conversation with TNS, Mohammad Humayon Khan, assistant manager of the store, explained that the initial idea was to open a pop-up store in Karachi for six months, “but a mammoth response and high sale points made us extend it to 14 months. It is now franchised and has two branches in Karachi and a few more are in the pipeline”.
Khan says as a strategy they plan to run a store for a year before franchising it. “That’s how the Lahore store will operate. Although we wish it was a permanent thing. The game plan is to keep the label premium as it will lose its charm if it’s permanently deployed.”
This customised Magnum bar is different from what we otherwise get in supermarkets or other retail stores. The Magnum Pleasure Store offers 20 different topping options and one can pick up to three toppings, which the Magnum’s especially trained staff sprinkles atop delectably luxurious chocolate. Each ice cream creation is perfected with a douse of milk and dark chocolate — all for Rs250.
Ice cream lovers of all ages impatiently crowd the counters to try out their personalised creations. The process is done in these four simple steps. The friendly staff wearing brown shirts with gold motifs helps in case one gets confused, but it starts with pay the amount, ask for a choice of an uncoated Magnum ice cream stick, dip it in chocolate of your choice (milk chocolate or white chocolate) and then finally add the coating (Cocoa nibs, crushed bunties, salted peanuts coconut, fruits, popcorn, pretzels or chili flakes… sounds weird but believe me I saw quite a few teenagers try it out).
The store is also planning to hold interesting offbeat events like gigs and fashion showcases. “We are coming up with a variety of desserts to appease our clientele’s love for sugary stuff,” says Khan.
The Magnum store experience turned out to an exciting interactive activity for my daughters, who couldn’t control their squeals of delight while choosing their selective toppings. I, for one, wasn’t too sure of the variety of toppings, as I like my ice cream to be smooth and fuss-free. Though, I must confess that on the way out the thought of trying popcorns with grated coconut as topping the next time excited me!